It was around six months ago that former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush announced that he would actively begin looking into the possibility of running for President of the United States. He has now let it be known that he will make it official on June 15 in Miami that he is officially a candidate for the Republican nomination. However, there are reasons for him to consider not running for President.
First of all, at least one of his tactics prior to his upcoming announcement has not worked. He dove into the presidential exploration with a strategy designed to snare up big donors from Republican circles, scare away other potential candidates from running and put together a team of the top Republican advisers. To be honest, he was really only successful in the financial area as he is well on his way to raising $100 million for the upcoming primaries. He has been raising funds in a rather aggressive fashion for his political action committee and as a result, has experienced some pressure to go ahead and announce his intentions. However, once that declaration is made, he cannot do anymore fundraising for that particular entity. One prominent newspaper sent emails to around 120 people who had previously worked for President George Bush and only around 25 indicated any intention of supporting the former President’s younger brother.
While he has managed to gather together a rather impressive band of consultants, many of them have been associated with what liberals call a hugely bad move in 2003 to invade Iraq. Although history will probably paint it much differently, it is something that Democrats are using to discredit anyone with ties to Obama’s predecessor. Finally, he was obviously not able to scare anyone out of the race for the nomination with the possible exception of Mitt Romney. The field of potential candidates for the Republican nomination seems to be growing weekly.
Secondly, the most recent nationwide polls have shown him in the best case scenario to be tied with around three or four others who are vying for the nomination. In a recent survey concerning how he would play in New Hampshire, which is the first primary in the election season, Jeb Bush was first but Senator Marco Rubio was coming behind him rather quickly. This country could be in for a long drawn out primary season. Bush will have the financial means to maintain all the way through to the end but many pundits believe he may have to do some negative campaigning to keep one of his Republican opponents from having a breakout moment. The problem with that is that Bush would not want to be labeled with a legacy of mudslinging. Mudslinging has never been a strong point for the Bush family though they have been known to hire consultants such as Rove and Atwater who were skilled at that art. There is also the possibility of a showdown in Florida against Rubio which is not a prospect that would appeal to either candidate. Rubio was after all, a protege of the former Florida governor.
One cannot leave out the excitement factor; Bush does have an excellent record, and has said some wonderful things while campaigning that would indicate he is presidential timber. However, there is a tremendous lack of excitement. It is an excitement that Rubio possesses, but Bush clearly does not. Also, as some have pointed out, many candidates point to the future. Bush, regardless of whether it is fair or not, reminds people of the past. The upside to that is that it was something his father had to deal with as well and the senior Bush was able to overcome it. However, more than ever, the political race has become about flash and glamour. Neither one of these are in great supply in the Bush family.
Speaking of something being unfair, there is the last name. It is true that there have been other Chief Executives from the same family. George W. Bush loved to talk about John Adams and John Quincy Adams. Two of the stalwarts for the twentieth century were cousins, Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt. As mentioned earlier, the decision on the part of George W. Bush to invade Iraq is not going to disappear. The younger brother will have to deal with questions on a regular basis concerning the actions of his brother and father. As well as this, it cannot be forgotten that America has never been big on the idea of a Presidential dynasty and the idea of three Presidents from the same family within a 30-year span will not appeal to many. Naturally, that issue will also be brought up with Hilary Clinton as the nominee for the Democrats. However, Clinton has an advantage that Bush does not: she is running to be the first woman in the Oval Office.
Make no mistake, Jeb Bush would definitely be an interesting change to a race that is right now full of relative newcomers to the field of national politics (Cruz, Paul, Carson). He has dignity, experience being a chief executive and holds a record for gaining votes from groups from which Republicans will definitely need support in the upcoming election. However, the simple truth is that he is not a strong candidate and running for the nomination and losing will tarnish what already appears to be a stellar career. He really needs to consider not to running for President.
Opinion by Rick Hope
Chicago Sun-Times: Huntley: Five reasons Jeb Bush should not go for it
Herald Tribune: Jeb Bush: Top 5 reasons he should and should not run
Red State: Five Reasons Why Jeb Bush Should Drop Out Now (before officially entering the 2016 race)